E-cigarette Kills Israeli Toddler
It has been reported (Wednesday May 29th 2013), that a 2 year old toddler in Israel sadly died in a Jerusalem
hospital as a result of ingesting the nicotine drops from an electronic cigarette:
“A 30-month-old Yerushalayim toddler from the Beis Yisrael neighborhood was niftar (died) on Tuesday, 19 Sivan
5773 in the hospital. EMS (Ambulance) officials responded to the family’s home on Yosef Karo Street.
Ichud Hatzalah EMTs (Ambulance Paramedics) reported upon their arrival the girl was in an altered mental state
and her condition deteriorated rapidly. MDA EMTs added that when she was transported her condition was already
listed as very serious.
The girl was transported in the morning hours after losing consciousness, the result of ingesting nicotine drops
from an electronic cigarette.
She was first transported to Shaare Zedek Medical Center but after her condition was evaluated, it was decided
to move her to an intensive care unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. Despite the efforts by the medical team, she
was niftar (died) during the evening hours.
According to the US Federal Drug Administration, the drops used for electronic cigarettes contain a number of
ingredients which are poisonous to humans, including nicotine and giatiln glycol.
Officials report the family is a young couple, chareidim, and the nifteres was their first
The above incident has been reported on many e-cigarette and vaping forums world-wide. And many of the comments
made on the forums tend to ‘defend’ the toxic nicotine liquid used in e-cigarettes and blame the parents, and are
along the lines of “it’s not the fault of the toxic nicotine juice – it’s down to bad parenting and those parents
shouldn’t have allowed their toddler access to their e-liquid ‘juice’ – people like that don’t deserve to be
Which is incredibly harsh on those poor parents – and a very short sighted view of what has probably happened in
this case. What has happened is probably something like this:
The big business interests that manufacture these devices employ a lot of ‘researchers’ in universities and
elsewhere to ‘evaluate’ these devices and provide some level of ‘assurance’ about how useful these devices are.
Curiously, these researchers always tend to carry out research, and find conclusions, that are in-line with the
objectives of the sponsoring big business behind the research. These researchers aren’t stupid – to conduct
'research' and come up with results that are not in-line with the requirements of their big business sponsor is
just about as likely as turkeys voting for Christmas.
The researchers invariably belong to many ridiculously impressive sounding organisations (e.g.
the Royal College of ‘Propaganda’) – and the name and impressive initials help to establish their credentials
and authority for the work that they do. The researchers then trade off these credentials by ‘advising’
the national government organisations and departments that are tasked with setting national health
Many countries, and their government departments, are wise to this state of affairs and put public health
before business interests. And, accordingly, many countries have banned electronic cigarettes.
Unfortunately, in the UK it seems the ‘National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’ is more than happy to
support big business and positively encourage tobacco smokers to use these devices as an alternative to smoking
tobacco. Even though the content of these devices is not controlled in any way, and could contain any kind of
chemicals. And even if they were ‘controlled’ a user could easily unknowingly be using a counterfeit device –
modified to contain additional more addictive and more harmful chemicals (e.g. Ecstasy, Amphetamines, Cocaine
Nevertheless ‘NICE’ is more than happy to recommend these completely unknown devices (whatever they are and
whatever they contain) as being safer than smoking tobacco!
The recommendation by NICE really is a damning indictment of the lobbying activities by big business
interests that are taking place in the UK - as evidenced by the current coalition government omitting legislation
for plain packaging of cigarettes from the recent Queen's speech.
Anyway, coming back to this poor family, who are now having to come to terms with the loss of
their precious 2 year old daughter. We don’t know the exact circumstances. We don’t know if the nicotine
liquid belonged to the parents, or someone else, but the chances are that:
The user (let’s assume that it is the father) has believed the wave of marketing publicity that has been
launched by big business in order to launch these devices. And this is marketing publicity that, for example,
proclaims that e-cigarettes are wonderful. They use a harmless vapour. They are claimed to not have the 4000 toxic
chemicals that are present in tobacco cigarettes. They neglect to advertise just how toxic and dangerous nicotine
actually is. And these devices are so wonderful they can be smoked/vaped anywhere, in public spaces, in pubs and
restaurants – although in reality many establishments have already banned them.
And with all this 'in you face' publicity and pushing in the ‘background’, by the industry itself (and its
dependent users), and with the assistance and co-operation of non-critical (to be polite) government
departments like NICE - can anyone really blame the father (assuming it’s the father – we don’t know) for ‘dropping
his guard’ one time and leaving his e-cigarette within reach of his toddler child?
But the point is, that this unfortunate toddler had more than likely seen her father vaping (probably all her
life), had her curiosity awakened – and thought to herself something like:
“I'd like to have a go at that. My dad sticks that white tube in his mouth and it doesn’t hurt
him – and I can see he enjoys it. And he always stops me from going near it, and he always makes sure that it’s out
of reach so that I can’t get to it. So he enjoys it but stops me from going near it? It must be great fun making
that 'magic cloud'. All very strange. I wonder what it’s like? It must be really special and good because he is
always doing it and he doesn’t want me to enjoy it. I must have a go. I can’t wait to find out. As soon as I get
the chance I’m going to have a go myself at doing what he's doing."
So when her harassed father gets up to answer a knock on the door (maybe), and the opportunity presents itself,
the little girl is straight over to that e-cigarette, which she puts in her mouth and drinks the liquid – because
she doesn’t appreciate that her dad is inhaling the fumes/vapour, but she does knows how to drink - she can do
And so the resulting tragedy tragically unfolds...
There are some lessons to be learned here:
1. The father was surrounded by an impression that e-cigarettes were safe and harmless. One
source would have been casual talk and promotion on interent forums by users of these devices.
Another source would have been the agressive marketing of the e-cigarette industry that now surrounds us, courtesy
of agressive industry lobbying and marketing - together with poor government processes and controls.
And the marketing and advertising always stresses how safe and harmless electronic
cigarettes are (even though they’re clearly not) – and this was a significant contributor to
the father lowering his guard one time, and the little girl having access to an e-cigarette.
2. The little girl was, in turn, surrounded by an impression that e-cigarettes were safe and harmless. And
this came from constantly seeing her father (and others perhaps) relaxing and vaping in front of her (thus
increasing the normalcy of smoking). And her father, being a responsible loving parent, probably went to extreme
lengths to make sure that she could not access his e-cigarette(s) – and this behaviour awakened her interest and
curiosity and his e-cigarettes became the ‘forbidden fruit’ that she just had to experience just as soon as the
opportunity presented itself. And this form of 'social marketing' is something that contributed
significantly to the smoking epidemic of previous decades and has long been employed by the Nicotine
Industry to push its products.
3. Similarly, many smokers/vapers started smoking, as youngsters, by experimenting by stealing
their parent's cigarettes from time to time.
4. There are many hospitilisation episodes with children every year, involving household cleaners and so
on. And this is with cleaners that are either naturally not that attractive to children - because they
are naturally offensive - or instead deliberately packaged and presented with noxious odours and so forth so
as to reduce their desirability! It is exactly the OPPOSITE case with e-cigarettes! With e-cigarettes coming
in many kinds of candy 'flavourings', to INCREASE their desirability, it is easy to see how their use in
the presence of young people awakens curiosity and invites experimentation and disaster.
5. How long before some e-cig users, who would otherwise be trying to cut down on tobacco cigarette
consumption, assume, because of the agressive industry marketing and the added flavourings to
enhance their desirability and 'addictiveness' (not allowed with tobacco cigarettes), that these devices
are completely safe and harmless - and hence end up inhaling nicotine using an e-cig every minute of
the day, with tragic consequences, because of the misleading health reassurances of 'NICE' and the industry
But most of all this horrible tragic incident would, quite simply, never have occurred had the little
girl’s father been aware of the simple code of the Smokeless Society. So always remember the code of the Smokeless
"Don't smoke (or vape) "
"Don't smoke (or vape) in public"
"Don't encourage others to smoke (or vape)"
Had the father observed the code of the Smokeless Society and not smoked (or vaped) then this tragedy
would, quite simply, never have happened. However, the father smoked/vaped, in public, in front of his little
girl (and possibly other people's children as well) - and in so doing awakened her curiosity and, albeit
unwittingly, encouraged her to experience the 'delights' of vaping.
And all very very sad.
Not the father's fault obviously. He probably wasn't aware of the Smokeless Society and its code. And he
probably wasn't aware of the reality of e-cigarettes and how they are being pushed and marketed by big businesses -
and how some government health departments are open to lobbying by big business. So not the
father's fault at all really.
The Smokeless Society would like to extend our sympathies and condolences to the parents and all of those who
have been personally touched by this unfortunate incident.
If you are concerned about the development of electronic cigarettes by the Nicotine Industry, please
register on this website as a supporter of the Smokeless Society,
sign the government e-Petition, and ask your friends to do the same.
Update - 12th June 2013
Another report of this incident on the internet has been reported that states:
"Initial reports said that Elbaz’s parents were not with her when she drank the liquid and she was being watched
over by her grandparents. At some point the toddler, an only child, went to her grandfather’s room and drank from a
small bottle of liquid nicotine that he used to refill his electronic cigarette. The bottle was sent to a police
laboratory for tests to determine exactly what was in the liquid."4
Hopefully the police investigation will uncover what really happened, to avoid a repeat. However it is worth
noting that the 'juice' solutions used by refillable e-cigs are usually sold in very small child proof
bottles. It remains likely that the toddler was intrigued by the use of the e-cigarette in the household. And that
the e-cigarette had at least been re-filled in her presence - so she understood the procedure. And
she was sufficienly intrigued and attracted to the liquid that she wished to find out more for herself. And that
the casual familiarity that she saw in the environment that she lived in was as a result of the industry
aggressively marketing e-cigarettes as being 'safe' and 'harmless'.
It really is no great surprise that many countries have already banned these devices.
e-cigarette poisoning advice:
Institutional addiction to tobacco